2–5 February 2021



'Teu le Va' (nurture the space) in-between intersectionality


Presenting Author(s): Marion Muliaumaseali'I
03 February 2021

A workshop focused on the ServDes. 2020 theme of ‘Plurality’ with the intention to provide innovative tools that generate experiences validating participants from diverse
backgrounds through the lens of Intersectionality and the Samoan concept of space; called ‘Va’ or the space in-between.

Pacific author and academic Albert Wendt states that:

Va is the space between the between-ness, not empty space, not space that separates, but space that relates, that holds separate entities and things together in the Unity-that-is-All, the space that is context, giving meaning to things (Wendt,1996).

Teu le Va is a call to nurture the space in-between, premised on forgiveness and reconciliation (Muliaumaseali’i, 2017). Here we use its literal translation to tidy, beautify the space in-between (Muliaumaseali’i, 2017).

For the purposes of this workshop, Intersectionality is defined as a concept seeking to dismantle the power dynamics and cultural structures that discriminate against race, class and gender to create advocacy and remedial practices towards an egalitarian society (Crenshaw, 1989).

We explore Crenshaw’s (1989) notions by identifying where individual identities intersect (Coatson,2019) and how Va might bridge these intersections towards an even playing field. These themes influence a tactile, audio and visual experience aimed to present interventions that might Teu le Va (nurture the space) in-between Intersectionality.

Europe (CET): 3rd February 2021 8:15 am to 11:15 am

US (EST): 3rd February 2021 2:15 am to 4:15 am

Please Note: This workshop is available to those who have registered and received an email confirming their attendance from the workshop facilitators. We apologise that we cannot accommodate additional participants.

Download Event Paper

Marion Muliaumaseali'I
Marion Muliaumaseali'I
RMIT University

Dr. Marion Muliaumaseali’i is a Pacific ethnographic researcher, expert facilitator, panel moderator, and entrepreneur. Her thesis, “The Space in-between: An Ethnographic Study of Mobile Technology and Social Change in Rural Samoa” examined the changing communicative ecologies of village Samoa and its relationship to the Va, a ‘thread’ that exists in every gesture, speech and interaction between Samoans. Voted RMIT’s Operations Diversity Champion 2018 for her design intervention, the Indigenous Word Cards which were created to mitigate the trauma experienced globally by Indigenous communities’ subject to unconscious biases of non-Indigenous researchers or design practitioners. The Indigenous Word Cards are based on Fa’amatai (Samoan village organisation) and were co-created with - Boon Wurrung Elder, N’arweet Carolyn Briggs is a tangible example of Dr. Marion’s concept of Teu le Va (nurture the space) between Intersectionality. Dr Marion’s heart to ‘be the change’ challenges her to bring her academic achievements and lived experiences in the Design context towards sustainable change.